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Our own Ron Engle participated in the 2011 New Jersey Summer Shore Kick-off in Belmar, New Jersey. This is the fifteenth year that New Jersey has conducted Cops in Shops programs to deter illegal underage purchase of alcoholic beverages. This year’s program has expanded to 30 police departments, 22 of which will conduct year long programs.

The event was key noted by New Jersey Attorney General Paula T. Dow, who stated among other things that “Underage drinking is a critical issue for us here in New Jersey”; “It is the number one problem in the summer months…”, and “We’ve got to send a strong message out there that we cannot condone this activity, especially during the summer months.” 

Store owners across New Jersey counties will work with the law enforcement agencies in their communities to place officers both inside and outside select stores. But young people won’t know when or where, so advice to teens is – don’t risk it. It’s the hope that the Cops in Shops® program will deter teens from buying alcohol illegally, and also make the adults who purchase it for minors think twice.

With the Cops in Shops program, retailers work with law enforcement to deter youth under 21 from attempting to purchase alcohol and adults who purchase alcohol for minors. The program places undercover officers in participating retail locations. Often one undercover officer works inside the store while a second officer is positioned outside the establishment to apprehend adults who procure alcohol for youth. Cops in Shops® places the focus on the perpetrators — minors who try to purchase alcohol illegally.

We're very happy to see New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow behind this program, and look forward to hearing of its success.